A smart character is only as smart as their writer.

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He walked into the room where all of the worlds grand masters and chess AIs were waiting, beating all of them single-handedly while solving complex mathematical proofs. At the end he unveiled his new invention, a cold fusion reactor that had secretly been powering the city for weeks.


Not true, but the writer needs to be clever about writing a smarter character, and there is a threshold.


Take Sherlock Holmes as an example. His creator knew how the crime was committed and then devised the clues that would fit with that crime, but Holmes (the character) was smarter in being able to extrapolate from those clues to find the crime that fit.


It’s always bothered me on tv shows when that cliche ocd genius spouts a bunch of dialog (usually very quickly and with a spattering of big words) but when you actually listen and analyze the content it’s nonexistent. Fast talking and a thesaurus doesn’t equal intelligence. Some of the wisest words I’ve ever heard were spoken in such plain English that it was scandalous.


Not true, see the Sherlock TV series. Dumb as shit writing but the character just magically figures things out based on no evidence.